Weight loss diet: 7 essential nutrients to shed extra kilos

Exercise and a healthy diet are crucial for a lean body! So, make sure you are consuming these 7 essential nutrients for weight loss and staying fit.
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These nutrients can help you lose weight! Image courtesy: Adobe Stock
Aayushi Gupta Updated: 24 Jun 2024, 02:45 pm IST

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Nutrients are the building blocks of a healthy body and play a vital role in our overall health. They are even more important if you are trying to lose weight. While we often hear about specific foods for weight loss, it is vital to understand the key nutrients that can help. Fibre, protein, and antioxidants are among the most important nutrients for weight loss. These nutrients not only help suppress your appetite and reduce calorie intake but also support the metabolic rate essential for shedding excess weight. By focusing on these nutrients, you can lose weight and improve your overall well-being. Here are 7 essential nutrients that should be part of your weight loss diet!

7 nutrients for weight loss

Here are 7 essential nutrients that you should include in your daily diet if your goal is weight loss:

1. Protein

Protein is essential for the growth, repair, and maintenance of tissues in our body, including muscles, organs, and skin. It requires more energy to digest compared to fats or carbohydrates, thus boosting metabolism temporarily and burning more calories throughout the day. A study published by the American Journal Of Clinical Nutrition reveals that protein can increase satiety, reducing overall calorie intake by curbing hunger and preventing overeating. Additionally, adequate protein intake can help maintain muscle mass, which is essential to boost your metabolism and help you lose weight.

Protein is very essential when it comes to weight loss. Image courtesy: Freepik

Protein-rich foods include lean meats such as chicken, turkey, and fish, as well as legumes, nuts, seeds, and dairy products like Greek yoghurt and cottage cheese.

Also read: 10 high protein fruits for weight loss

2. Fibre

Known to promote digestive health, fibre also plays a significant role in weight management. “It adds bulk to your diet without adding calories, which helps promote feelings of fullness and reduce appetite,” explains Nutritionist Dr Rohini Patil. Fibre also slows down digestion and promote absorption of carbohydrates, preventing rapid spikes in blood sugar levels and sudden crashes that can lead to cravings and overeating. A study published by the Journal of Nutrition finds that increasing fibre consumption may help you lose weight, while decreasing it may increase your weight.

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Fibre rich foods include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, beans, nuts, and seeds.

3. Healthy fats

Contrary to common belief, not all fats are the same; some are nutritious and beneficial for weight loss. According to the American Heart Association, fat is a crucial nutrient that provides energy, supports cell function, and aids in the absorption of nutrients and hormone production. Moreover, fat makes you feel fuller. Instead of completely avoiding fats, incorporating the right types of fats into your weight loss diet.

Include healthy fats in your diet to stay fit. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

Healthy fats, such as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats found in foods like avocados, nuts, seeds, and fatty fish, are beneficial. Following a Mediterranean diet, which is rich in these healthy fats, may help with weight loss. A 2019 study published in Nutrition and Diabetes found that individuals adhering to this diet were nearly 10 percent less likely to become overweight or obese compared to those who did not follow it.

Also read: Ditch crash diet! Switch to these 5 summer foods for weight loss

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4. Carbohydrates (carbs)

Carbohydrates are one of the most essential nutrients for weight loss. There are two types of carbs, complex carbs and simple carbs. Complex carbohydrates, such as whole grains (brown rice, quinoa, and oats), legumes (beans, lentils), and starchy vegetables (sweet potatoes, corn), provide a steady source of energy and essential nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, and fibre. According to a 2019 study in Nutrients, eating more whole grains (complex carbs) is linked with a lower risk of weight gain.

Unlike simple carbohydrates (found in sugary foods and refined grains), complex carbohydrates digest more slowly, preventing rapid spikes and crashes in blood sugar levels. “This steady energy release helps maintain stable energy levels throughout the day and reduces the likelihood of cravings and overeating,” says Dr Patil.

Also Read: Know the best and worst low carb foods for weight loss here

5. Antioxidants

Antioxidants are compounds that protect cells from damage caused by free radicals, which can contribute to ageing and various diseases. When it comes to weight loss, some antioxidants, such as catechins in green tea and flavonoids in berries, play a crucial role in reducing inflammation and supporting overall metabolic health. By promoting cellular health and function, antioxidants indirectly support weight loss efforts by ensuring efficient metabolism and optimal nutrient absorption, according to a study published by the Food and Nutrition Department.

Antioxidant-rich foods are dark chocolate, berries, nuts, seeds, kale, red cabbage, beans, and beverages like green tea.

6. Probiotics

Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that boost your immunity and support gut health and digestive function. But does it help you lose weight? Well, weight loss is also one of the health benefits of adding probiotics to your diet. Consuming probiotic supplements can reduce body weight and fat percentage, but the changes are relatively small, found a 2017 review published in Obesity Reviews. While more studies are needed to support it, probiotics can enhance nutrient absorption and support a healthy digestive tract, which is essential for weight loss.

Add probiotics to your diet to safeguard your digestive health. Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

They are naturally found in fermented foods such as yoghurt, kefir, sauerkraut, and kimchi.

7. Magnesium

Magnesium is a mineral that works with over 300 different enzymes in the body to carry out vital functions such as energy production, muscle function, relieve PMS (premenstrual syndrome) and achieve better sleep, according to the National Institutes of Health. In terms of weight loss, magnesium plays a critical role in regulating blood sugar and insulin levels, which can impact appetite and fat storage. Apart from this, a 2021 review published in Nutrients reports that magnesium deficiency is more prevalent in people with obesity. This means magnesium is essential if you want to lose weight.

Magnesium-rich foods are leafy greens, nuts, seeds, avocados, legumes, and whole grains.

Also read: 10 types of magnesium and how they benefit your health

Some other tips to lose weight

Apart from adding these nutrients to your diet, follow these 7 tips for weight loss:

  • Always drink water before meals, it can help reduce calorie intake by promoting a feeling of fullness.
  • Pay attention to your food while eating so that you know when you feel full.
  • Use smaller plates and bowls to reduce portion sizes.
  • Cut down on sugary drinks, candies, and desserts. Instead, choose natural sweeteners, such as fruits, when cravings strike.
  • Incorporate both cardio and strength training exercises into your routine to lose weight.
  • Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night because lack of sleep can disrupt hunger hormones and lead to cravings for high-calorie foods.
  • Practice relaxation techniques such as yoga or meditation to manage stress levels, which is a contributory factor in weight gain.

You can lose weight if you stick to a healthy diet and follow a daily workout routine.

Aayushi Gupta

Aayushi Gupta is a health writer with a special interest in trends related to diet, fitness, beauty and intimate health. With around 2 years of experience in the wellness industry, she is connected to leading experts and doctors to provide our readers with factually correct information. ...Read More

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